Last chance to nominate for Veeam Innovation Awards

Source: Veeam

When the inaugural Veeam Innovation Awards (VIA) were launched, we as a company were excited to see what may come as a result. We will announce the winners at VeeamON in Chicago, but there is something bigger going on here.

One of the things that makes Veeam different is its partners. So much so, that I like to say that partnerships are in Veeam’s DNA. And it’s true. Everything we do revolves around partners. Whether the partner is in the sales channel, a service provider, an alliance partner, a distributor, or a services or integration partner; it’s clear: Veeam is all-in with partners. When you look at it this way, it’s pretty clear to see what I mean by Veeam has partnership in its DNA! That’s why partners and solutions from our partners made available by Veeam are candidates for the award.

What will the Veeam Innovation Awards bring in 2018? That’s actually part of the mystique — we don’t know! We’ve seen some incredible entries, nominations from customers and partners, as well as some keen observations from the Veeam team on what is being done in the field.

If you haven’t submitted your nominations yet, do so now. Nominations are open only until April 30, and the winners will be announced at VeeamON. Who knows, you may win, nominate a winner, or even discover a new use case that solves an Availability need you may have!

The post Last chance to nominate for Veeam Innovation Awards appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Last chance to nominate for Veeam Innovation Awards

How to protect both Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange mailboxes

Source: Veeam

One of the things I really like about new technologies today is when big transitions are truly seamless. Arguably the most common example is what is happening with Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office 365. A few years ago, Microsoft Office 365 became an attractive option for a new platform for one of the most critical sets of applications for effectively every organization. It is also a relatively seamless transition as many of the same consumption mechanisms are maintained: Outlook, Web Access, Mobile, etc.

However, one interesting characteristic is unique to this Software as a Service (SaaS) use case: Organizations take some time to do it. I can recount many conversations around this as Veeam announced, then launched and then enhanced our product in this space: Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. The conversations span many years — along with the migrations. When I visit a customer at first, they’ll say they are “piloting” Microsoft Office 365 with a few users such as the IT staff. Then next year, I visit and they’ll report they are “about 50% complete” with migrations. On the third year, I’d get information from the same organization that they are “90% migrated.” While every implementation and experience is different — it is possible that many stories are similar.

One thing that I personally love about Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is that Veeam can support you through this process. This is due to one specific capability that Veeam provides: The ability to add an on-premises Exchange organization to Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. Even if you are just starting your Office 365 journey, with all data on-premises, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 can be leveraged immediately. This is very powerful as it can completely support the organization through the migration. The figure below shows a Hybrid organization using both on-premises Exchange and Microsoft Office 365:

One of the key benefits presented by this configuration is that the organization can have the same configuration and backup solution for effectively a hybrid SaaS deployment. Hybrid in that the result is that this business application (mail and calendaring service) is both on-premises and in the SaaS space. Having the consistent approach with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is a good practice in a backup policy to ensure that no mailboxes are omitted from backup between many products during an organization’s migration process. This unified approach also permits migration capabilities between Office 365 and on-premises Exchange.

Likely, the most telling benefit of the unified approach is the restore. Restores with Veeam have always been easy, and Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is no exception. The restores are driven with Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange, which is the same engine used for on-premises Exchange backups and is shown below:

This restore wizard starts the intuitive process to restore data back to either Office 365 or on-premises Exchange with ease. Exports are also supported — so building a PST file or a list of objects can also be done.

Just like having the right restore for any situation, having the right backup for any configuration is a strong capability of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. This is the type of approach that is needed today for the demands on critical systems and data.  If you haven’t played with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365, download a trial now — or our NFR program that permits up to 10 user mailboxes to be backed up for free. Are you operating a hybrid Exchange and Office 365 deployment? Does Veeam’s ability to protect both in a consistent manner appeal to you? Share your comments below.

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The post How to protect both Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange mailboxes appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

How to protect both Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange mailboxes

Getting started with Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server

Source: Veeam

Believe it or not, I used to work a lot with Microsoft SQL Server. While I did not call myself a database administrator (DBA), I did know my way around a database or two. Since I’ve been at Veeam, I have always enjoyed telling the Veeam story around using SQL Server as a critical application that needs the best Availability options.

That’s why I took particular interest in Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server that came in Veeam Backup & Replication. Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server allows application-specific restores of SQL databases, and also contents of tables, objects such as stored procedures, views and more. Additionally, you can also restore the databases to a specific transaction.

This is a great combination of functionality from the established application-aware image processing with a dedicated tool for database restores in Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server. Additionally, Veeam Backup & Replication and the Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows also provide an image backup of the entire system.

For those who are not a DBA, sometimes dealing with low-level SQL Server topics can be a bit overwhelming. To help this process, I created a few scripts to help individuals learn this type of interaction with SQL Server. I put three (and a deleted script) up on the Veeam Github site. To use this script, only an S: drive is needed (the path can be changed) to create the sample database and put in a SQL Server Agent job to automatically run a few stored procedures that will insert and delete random data. This creates a database called SQLGREENDREAM.

After running the three scripts to create the database, implement the random number function and set the schedule to create the random data (2 records) and delete 1 record. The SQL Server Transaction Log Backup will show the new database being backed up after the next incremental backup:

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server

Once the interval of the SQL Server Agent job runs (12 minutes in the GitHub script) and the Veeam Backup Job interval passes, the most selective restore point option can be selected in Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server. This selective option, to restore to a specific transaction, is shown in the figure below:

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server

Once the interval of the SQL Server Agent job runs (12 minutes in the GitHub script) and the Veeam Backup copy interval process through a time when the test data has been run, the restore to a specific transaction option can be visible to the controlled scripting for the SQLGREENDREAM database in the GitHub repository. Then you can see the records in question being just as scripted, 2 records added then one record deleted. Those entries are done by the SQL Server Agent:

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server

From there, the restores can be done with confidence to see how the SQL databases are restored with Veeam. With the sample scripts in the GitHub repository, one can become more comfortable with these restore situations when venturing out of normal comfort zones! If you are using Veeam Backup Free Edition and the SQL Server is a VM being backed up, you can still use Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server to restore the database to the time of the image-based backup; just no transaction rollback. You can use the NFR program for a fully functional installation also.

Have you used Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server to restore to a transaction? How did it go? Share your comments below.

The post Getting started with Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Getting started with Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server

Veeam Management Pack for System Center v8 Update 5: New Alerting and Reporting for the Enterprise!

Source: Veeam

Veeam Management Pack (MP) for System Center has always been a great way for enterprises to clearly connect mission-critical applications to the vital systems they run on down to the virtualization and hardware levels. This app-to-metal visibility is truly a requirement in enterprises today, and for organizations who have implemented Microsoft System Center, you have a great opportunity with the Veeam MP. Today, the Veeam MP v8 Update 5 is now Available!

Veeam MP

What’s new in Veeam MP?

There are many new things in Veeam MP v8 Update 5. This builds off of Update 4 last year. Here is a quick rundown of what’s new in this update, followed by a longer explanation in subsequent sections:

  • Built-in monitoring for Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows
  • Morning Coffee Dashboard for at-a-glance, real-time health status of your Veeam backup environments
  • Monitoring for VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Additional VMware vSAN & vCenter Alarms

The key takeaway here is that critical new platforms can be monitored now with the Veeam MP.

Built-in monitoring for Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows

Last year, when Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows was updated to version 2.1, it had integration with Veeam Backup & Replication for management of the deployment of the Windows Agent as well as job configuration. With Veeam MP v8 Update 5, this capability is extended into System Center and allows real-time alerts of your Veeam backup jobs and policies for systems where the System Center Agent is installed. In addition to monitoring the Veeam backup status of these agents (usually physical servers), having the System Center Agent on these systems will combine system-wide event and performance data. Couple this with applications that System Center is aware of (like Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint and many more), and there is a visibility benefit that combines the run-state of a system, enterprise applications and the Availability strategy with Veeam backup products. This is in addition to the ability to manage VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualized infrastructures, and their backups, in Veeam MP.

At-a-glance, real-time health status of your Veeam backup environments

One of the most popular capabilities of Veeam MP are the Morning Coffee Dashboards for VMware and Hyper-V environments. In Veeam MP v8 Update 5, we added a Morning Coffee Dashboard for Veeam Backup & Replication, to give an at-a-glance, real-time health status of the backup infrastructure components. This is very important for larger Veeam Backup & Replication installations, as there may be many Veeam Backup Servers, sites, backup jobs, proxies, different types of repositories, use of Scale-out Backup Repositories and now the Veeam Agents. This new dashboard in the Operations Manager console complements the existing Veeam Morning Coffee Dashboards already available in Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) which can extend Veeam MP visibility beyond the on-premises consoles to the cloud-based Microsoft OMS view. This dashboard can also be scoped for each data center’s backup infrastructure, which may be a more relevant view due to different characteristics in each. The figure below is a sample Morning Coffee Dashboard for Veeam Backup & Replication, which shows how easy it is to read:

Veeam MP

Monitoring for VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS)

One of the new technologies that VMware has brought to market is the VMware Cloud on AWS. This new offering allows organizations to have a full vSphere environment running in AWS. The best part is that organizations have the complete control they are accustomed to on-premises with a VMware vSphere infrastructure, yet very close to other Amazon Web Services offering. Since Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3, which came out last month, organizations have been able to back up workloads running in VMware Cloud on AWS. Now, with Veeam MP v8 Update 5, organizations can have a consistent view of the clusters running on-premises with the infrastructure running in VMware Cloud on AWS. Coupled with the backup capability, the management opportunity here is a complete solution for organizations wanting to run workloads on VMware Cloud on AWS.

VMware vSAN & vCenter Alarms

Another new VMware technology that Veeam MP can provide monitoring for is VMware vSAN. VMware vSAN is a great storage technology (on a personal note, we’re using it in our lab and I’m falling in love with it). With this new storage technology, there are many new alarms that enterprises will need to be aware of to keep vSAN running as expected, including automated vSAN health, configuration, and hardware compatibility checks. And additional to the new vSAN alarms, there are new Veeam MP monitors tracking critical vCenter services, such as the Update Manager service and the PSC (Platform Services Controller).

Like all other capabilities in the Veeam MP, these new alarm monitors come with KB articles so that Veeam MP operators can quickly get easy-to-read information, even if they are not an expert in VMware vSphere or vSAN. This can help organizations solve issues correctly and quickly by having the right information at the right time.

By the way, if you didn’t know, Veeam Backup & Replication supports backup from vSAN with leading awareness for data locality, and we have done this for almost 4 years now. This is in addition to full support for VMware’s Storage Policy-Based Management (SPBM). Combining the best, most aware backup with the best management capabilities is the perfect recipe for the best vSAN experience.

Veeam MP v8 U5: More of what you need for visibility and management

For organizations using System Center, this is a critical set of new capabilities and there is no better time than now to plan an upgrade to Veeam MP v8 Update 5. Having this level of visibility, app-to-metal, is what organizations need to meet their SLAs and the needs of their stakeholders. See more details in the KB of what’s new.

The post Veeam Management Pack for System Center v8 Update 5: New Alerting and Reporting for the Enterprise! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Veeam Management Pack for System Center v8 Update 5: New Alerting and Reporting for the Enterprise!

Lenovo V Series Storage gets Veeam Availability!

Source: Veeam

It is easy to miss all of the new advancements and capabilities that Veeam has recently delivered. With the release of Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3, some of the big news is a serious advancement in the storage integrations, including the addition of Lenovo storage. In this post, we’ll discuss the new Veeam primary storage integration with Lenovo Storage V Series.

What problem does this storage integration solve?

It is a natural question to ask, and the answer will pique your interest as there are many problems solved in fact. One good way to answer this question is to list the problems solved in regards to the capabilities they offer:

  • Reduce stress on primary storage: The backup from storage snapshots capability will reduce the amount of time a VM has a VMware snapshot open and move data from the storage snapshot; effectively allowing you to take a backup at any part of the day AND retain Changed Block Tracking Data. You’ll have faster, less impactful backups.
  • Give recovery options from a storage snapshot: The Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots capabilities allow you to restore data (a VM, a file or an application item) from a storage snapshot on the array. This can be done ad-hoc or via a schedule set on the array.
  • Ensure storage snapshot copies are made: You can orchestrate the creation of storage snapshots on the Lenovo Storage V Series to ensure that you have the ability to recover when you need it.
  • Test with confidence: Probably the most powerful capability is the virtual lab capability to run an On-Demand Sandbox from a storage snapshot. This is very powerful as the performance profile of this virtual lab function will be on-par with the product workloads and it can save you unplanned downtime on critical changes by going into a change with complete preparation and confidence knowing the outcome.

The Lenovo Storage V Series provides the flexibility to start small and keep growing while leveraging existing storage investments. Now with support in Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3, Lenovo customers can enjoy a new level of Availability with Veeam to protect data, applications and IT services.

Lenovo V Series Storage gets Veeam Availability

One thing I enjoy showing about this integration is that it brings fast, efficient backup AND recovery. The recovery is the part that many organizations can leverage with incredible ease. This is because the Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots capability is something anyone with a Lenovo Storage V Series can leverage. This is accomplished by leveraging an existing storage snapshot schedule (which has zero impact on the running VMs) and providing a mechanism to restore VMs, files and application items directly from the storage snapshot with no additional steps required. The powerful recovery options in Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots on the Lenovo Storage V Series are shown below:

Lenovo V Series Storage gets Veeam Availability

In addition to the recovery capabilities above, this new Veeam integration also brings in Backup from Storage Snapshots. This technology allows organizations to effectively take backups at any point in the day. This is the most important part of Veeam’s storage integration with Lenovo Storage V system. The technical benefits here are that the amount of time that a VMware snapshot is opened is significantly reduced. The figure below shows the sequencing of a backup job using the storage integration:

Lenovo V Series Storage gets Veeam Availability

  1. The first step is to analyze which VMs in the job are on the Lenovo Storage V system.
  2. The second step is a VMware snapshot is called to all VMs on that storage volume, which will provide the application-consistent state of these VMs.
  3. The third step is to call a storage snapshot on the Lenovo Storage V system.
  4. The fourth step is a Veeam-proprietary benefit where Veeam Backup & Replication will retrieve the VMware CBT information of the VM snapshot created in step 2.
  5. Next, the VMware snapshot is released.
  6. The sixth step mounts this storage snapshot which includes the application-consistent state of the VMs to the VMware backup proxies in the Veeam Backup & Replication infrastructure.
  7. The Veeam proxies then read new and changed virtual disk data directly from the storage snapshot and transfer the data to a Veeam backup file in the backup repository.
  8. The final step will remove the storage snapshot when all VMs have been backed up.

This easy-to-use integration gives Lenovo Storage V customers incredible Availability options by being able to take backups with much less stress on production storage. Additionally, recovery points can be added easily simply by having a storage snapshot schedule set on the array. This integration in Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3 is just the latest capability to provide the Availability experience that organizations demand. You can find more about Veeam and the storage integration capabilities here.

The post Lenovo V Series Storage gets Veeam Availability! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Lenovo V Series Storage gets Veeam Availability!

Let’s get Available: Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows and Linux Receive MAJOR Updates!

Source: Veeam

Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3 brings some MAJOR enhancements to our flagship product, but this milestone also brings updates to both Veeam Agents. In my previous blog post, I introduced you to the #1 feature of Update 3: Centralized Management for the Veeam Agents. If this is the first time you’re hearing about our new agent-based backup solutions, I suggest you peer back through the Veeam Blog to get up to speed. But, if you’re ready to hear about what’s new with the Veeam Agents, you’ve come to the right place.

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.1

Besides centralized management and deployment of Windows agents, another major feature request that we’ve received is support for Windows Server Failover Clustering. Holding true to our core values, Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.1 server version adds protection for your mission critical Windows Server failover clusters, including SQL Server failover clusters and SQL Server Always-On Availability Groups (including SQL Server 2017), in a transactionally consistent fashion. Our R&D team has built special logic into the agent to intelligently determine which nodes are active versus passive and be able to back these up in a consistent manner. Application and server consistency during the backup is important as it will ensure that entire cluster node recovery as well as individual item-level recovery is possible.

Veeam Agents

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.1 is adding some cool functionality which allows client operating system users to back up their computers directly to their Microsoft OneDrive accounts. This OneDrive support is so awesome, it’s available in ALL Editions — FREE, Workstation and Server. With this new functionality, you’ll be able to recover the entire computer (FREE edition includes full system state backup only), with paid editions supporting file-level recovery so business users are able to recover their very important documents for tomorrow’s meeting.

Veeam Agents

Veeam has been utilizing change block tracking to conduct fast and efficient virtual machine backups for many years now. Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.1 server edition will ship with an optional, signed, CBT filter driver which has been developed specifically for Windows Server-based operating systems. This CBT driver can be deployed alongside the Veeam Agent data mover allowing for faster incremental backups to occur. If you’re already familiar with the filter driver Veeam pioneered for faster Hyper-V backups pre-Hyper-V 2016, this is very similar. There are a few ways to deploy this CBT driver, either when the backup agent is deployed within a protection group or after the fact, directly to individual Windows Servers through the Veeam Backup & Replication console.

Veeam Agents
Veeam Agents

Lastly, we’re even adding support for the newly released Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Windows Server 2016 version 1709 and Microsoft SQL Server 2017, allowing our users to update to the latest versions of Microsoft technologies without having to worry if their systems are protected.

Veeam Agent for Linux v2

Maintaining the integrity and security of your data is of absolute importance — especially when talking about cloud-based backups. Veeam Agent for Linux v2 provides the option to encrypt your backup files so your data is protected before it ever leaves the computer as well as at the destination — ensuring that your backup files are protected from unauthorized access AND unwanted manipulations. Security is so important, we’ve made this available in all editions, including FREE!

We have received many requests to provide Veeam Cloud Connect support for Veeam Agent for Linux. Well, we heard you loud and clear — Veeam Agent for Linux v2 now adds the ability to directly target your favorite Veeam Cloud Connect provider. This allows our users to easily create secure off-site backups of their physical servers, workstations located outside of the network perimeter or cloud-based Linux instances to their Veeam Cloud Connect environment.

For our VCSP partners, they can now further enhance their BaaS and DRaaS offerings to include the virtual, Windows and now Linux computers their customers operate. It’s a complete win-win for everyone!

Veeam Agents

Veeam Backup & Replication v9 added new functionality that permits you to combine all your storage resources regardless of protocol — block, file and even deduplication appliance — into one global pool of repositories. Veeam Scale-Out Backup Repository makes repository management simple, especially when coupled with per-VM backup chains. Veeam Agent for Linux v2 is now able to target your Scale-Out Backup Repositories you’ve grown to love.

Veeam Agents

This last topic is an update to Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3, which directly affects how Veeam Agent for Linux v2 is deployed and is one I think most Linux admins will love! Previously, with Veeam Agent for Linux you needed to manage the package dependencies manually adding a few extra required tasks before you could begin protecting your Linux computers. When Veeam Agent for Linux v2 is managed through Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3, this is no longer required as Veeam will directly handle the dependencies for RHEL, CentOS, SLES, Oracle RHCK, Debian and Ubuntu making the deployment completely seamless and easy!

Wrap-up

Veeam is passionate about supporting and adapting its solutions to meet the ever-changing demands of the Always-On Enterprise — regardless of where your workloads are deployed. Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3 will be shipped in two packages, with or without Veeam Agents. The default package will contain everything you need to begin protecting your on-premises environment and cloud instances. The second package will not contain the Veeam Agent software and is specifically for our VCSP partners. If you’re interested in learning more about this HUGE update or need to download your copy of Update 3 and the Veeam Agents, head on over to Veeam.com.

Helpful resources:

The post Let’s get Available: Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows and Linux Receive MAJOR Updates! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Let’s get Available: Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows and Linux Receive MAJOR Updates!

Agent management: Now in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 3

Source: Veeam

NOTE: Register for a live webinar, NOW! Manage ALL workloads — virtual, physical and cloud — from a single console, on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018.

 

WOW! This is big. There is a substantial amount of new functionality in Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3. We are happy to report some big news that has been kept rather secret for a while with this update since this was first demoed at VeeamON 2017. Update 3 brings agent management to Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 NOW and Veeam ONE 9.5 Update 3; something planned for v10 initially. Support for VMware Cloud on AWS is also included in Update 3; which was previously announced at VMworld. Additionally, the storage integration with IBM Spectrum Virtualize and Lenovo Storage V Series announced last year is included as well. This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about this incredible update.

Agent management in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 3

This also marks an incredible pivot point for Veeam. You have known us as the #1 provider for Availability for virtualized platforms by providing backup, replication and more, but now we are providing this experience for virtual, cloud and physical workloads. For the full rundown of what’s new; see Veeam KB 2353.

Agent management in Veeam Availability Suite

For those of you who have been watching Veeam for a while, this is a big deal as this was something we initially announced as being part of Veeam Availability Suite v10. This feature is ready and we want to get it out there NOW. Customers and partners have wanted this capability with the Veeam Agents in Veeam Backup & Replication. This means customers can manage Veeam Agents in a familiar interface, the Veeam Backup & Replication console. Additionally, Veeam ONE has some great new logic for the Veeam Agents as well.

Managing the agents in Veeam Availability Suite is more than just “physical server backup” – this is a broad capability paving the way for the experience you expect from Veeam for workloads in the cloud, as a virtual machine, physical systems and workloads running on alternate hypervisors, all from a proven console with ease of use like no other. Customers will immediately enjoy simplified central management, as well as reduced time and labor to deploy and manage agent backup configuration and deployment. Consider also that with Veeam, customers and partners can easily manage backups for tens of thousands of VMs, and now with Update 3, the simplified management of agents in the same console is the next benefit you can have with Veeam.

This capability is something that has been well thought through by our R&D teams, and the Veeam experience you have come to know and love will shine here as well. Let’s go through a few pieces of how this works by explaining some of the new capabilities.

We keep our classic approach — to start protecting systems, they need to be added to the Veeam Backup & Replication console first. With this logic, there is something for everyone. For a small IT shop, protecting a few physical computers can be done directly via a backup job or backup policy. These systems will appear under Inventory in the Manually Added predefined protection group. For the enterprise, protecting a large number of computers in automated fashion, we bring a new concept of protection groups. In both situations, this is done easily in the Veeam Backup & Replication console.

Protection group

Protection group is basically a folder with the scope of objects to protect. Protection groups can contain individual computers added by DNS name or IP address, Active Directory objects, such as organizational units (OUs), groups or computers, and a list of hosts from a CSV file.

There is also some cool logic in the group definition that would allow you to exclude VMs or systems that have been offline for over 30 days. VM exclusion is important because we still believe the agentless approach is the best to protect virtual machines, so we don’t want you to run into a situation where a VM is accidentally protected twice: once with Veeam Backup & Replication as an agentless VM image backup and a second time with Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows or Linux. If your hypervisor is not supported by Veeam Backup & Replication, you can uncheck the box and protect your virtual machines with the Veeam Agents. Excluding a system that has been offline for over 30 days will avoid Veeam Backup & Replication constantly trying to find and install the agent on the selected system when it may be inactive (such as a retired system that still has a computer account). And of course, it’s possible to exclude custom items manually. This exclusion logic is shown below:

Agent management in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 3

Let’s think about Active Directory where computers can appear and disappear (or a CSV file which is constantly updated with new computers by some export script). This source will be rescanned periodically to detect new objects, update the information about the existing hosts and remove decommissioned hosts from the backup scope in an automated fashion. Protection groups solve this challenge completely by performing periodic rescan according to the set schedule. Moreover, backup agent installation and the following upgrades can be performed automatically through the assigned distribution server, which can unload all the network traffic caused by agent distribution from your backup server.

Once the protection groups are defined, you can perform backup. There are two types of entities you can create to protect your computers: backup job and backup policy.

Backup job

This well-known Veeam Backup & Replication entity should be used to protect computers with a direct connection to the Veeam Backup & Replication server. The backup job is executed on the backup server while an agent acts like a client and performs backup activity triggered by its master server. That said, backup jobs are aimed to protect mission-critical servers and Microsoft Failover Clusters.

Backup policy

This is a new way to protect workstations when the operational time is slightly unpredictable, and there are servers running in remote locations with a poor connection to the backup server. The backup policy keeps a template of job settings and automatically distributes this configuration to a newly assigned host with backup agent installed. Once the configuration is applied, the agent starts to perform backup activity on its own to the specified repository, so constant connection to the backup server is not required.

Agent management in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 3

Once the protection mode is scoped, it becomes a very familiar process of setting up all the options associated with a Veeam backup job: a job name, which systems (either a list or the protection groups described above), backup mode (entire system or selected drives), the target such as a Veeam Backup & Replication repository, application and file indexing options as well as the schedule. Everything you expect from Veeam is now used for managing the Veeam Agents.

Once the backup jobs run, they’ll be in the Veeam Backup & Replication user interface with the other jobs and easily managed where you want to manage backups. We’ll cover it more in a subsequent blog post, but there is one huge technology in Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows that will make incremental backups go incredibly fast: a new Changed Block Tracking engine that is optimized for server workloads and will be something you won’t want to miss.

Agent monitoring

Veeam ONE 9.5 Update 3 now provides the ability to have visibility into the agents from Veeam ONE. This is important as you can have 24×7 real-time monitoring, reporting and alerting for both the virtual and physical infrastructure.

Additional platform and device support

Since the last update of Veeam Backup & Replication, a number of new platforms have gone generally available. This means that we had an opportunity to put them through our QA process in time and prioritize their support with this update. Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3 will include support for Microsoft Windows Server 2016 version 1709, VMware vCloud Director 9 and Microsoft SQL Server 2017. Additionally, 4TB disks are supported in Microsoft Azure; as well as Azure Germany and China service regions. LTO-8 tape devices are also supported!

VMware Cloud on AWS Support

At VMworld 2017, we announced that we will support VMware Cloud on AWS. This is a great technology from VMware that allows organizations to easily leverage a complete VMware solution in the cloud; and it could not be easier with Veeam to use. This will allow organizations to use familiar tasks like backup, replication and other jobs for the workloads running in VMware Cloud on AWS. One powerful use case is to replicate VMs from your on-premises infrastructure to VMware Cloud on AWS. A lot of options with this, all with the same powerful tools from Veeam!

Cloud Connect insider protection

This capability will allow backups held in a Cloud Connect service provider to be retained for a set amount of days after deletion; much like a Recycle Bin. This is an incredible resiliency that is an industry unique capability for cloud technologies to be resilient against mass deletion, ransomware kits, malware or other threats to the backup data that are risks today. The best part is this won’t consume the Cloud Connect quota and if there is an incident, the end user can contact the Cloud Connect service provider to effectively save their data if their Veeam consoles elsewhere have all of their backups deleted otherwise.

Data location logging

What is where? Do you ever ask yourself that question? Well, this new capability is a property of Veeam repositories and other backup infrastructure objects that will allow your company to ensure data sovereignty compliance required by various regulations.

IBM Spectrum Virtualize and Lenovo Storage V Series Snapshot Integration

The latest integrated array is yet another example of Veeam providing more Availability to reduce the storage stress on production environments and achieve lower recovery time and point objectives through Veeam’s storage integration with IBM Spectrum Virtualize and Lenovo Storage V Series. This includes both Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots as well as Backup from Storage Snapshots.

You may wonder how the agent management capability in Update 3 is different than Veeam Availability Console. Veeam Availability Console will be the right solution for service providers and the right solution for a scenario involving many mobile or remote agents not connected to a network that Veeam Backup & Replication server has access to.

Extending Availability: Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 3

Customers and partners have asked for it, and now they have it: Agent management in Veeam Backup & Replication is here. You can download Update 3 here, and soon we’ll have Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows v2 Update 1 available as well as Veeam Agent for Linux v2. These updates will be on the Updates page.

The post Agent management: Now in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 3 appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Agent management: Now in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 3

Veeam Vanguard nominations are now open for 2018!

Source: Veeam

As we close out 2017, one of the things my team and I enjoy most are to open nominations for the Veeam Vanguard Program. The Vanguard program is Veeam’s influencer program that gathers individuals who, above all, just get what we do. We have Vanguards from all over the world from different technical backgrounds, and you can be the next one.

Veeam Vanguard Program

The 2018 program will grow the number of Vanguards by location, by areas of expertise and by how individuals interact. I like to explain the Vanguard program as an opportunity, an opportunity to have access to my team, product betas, briefings and many other benefits that are central to the program. Also, central to the Vanguard program is the annual Vanguard Experience. This year, it was a trip to VeeamON in New Orleans, last year a Vanguard symposium in London and more surprises are in store for 2018.

Veeam Vanguard Program

Nominate yourself or someone you know for the Veeam Vanguard award. Please note, nominations will be accepted until Friday, Dec. 29. Here are a few comments from existing Vanguards:

“Having been part of an amazing community program with Microsoft for the past eight years, the “MVP Program,” I can say that the Veeam Vanguard program is undoubtedly my favorite that I am a part of. I have the luxury of being able to compare programs from other vendors, and Veeam just did it right. They have kept the group small and focused and give us the direction and interaction with the product teams that we need.   Unlike other programs, the Vanguards have a “voice” within Veeam and they listen keenly to our constructive feedback. The program, benefit, and such are just a small part of this award. The single best part for me has been meeting all of the other like-minded community influences that love backup technologies from around the world.   With all due respect to the other technical communities out there, Veeam is #1 in my books.” Dave Kawula, Canada.

“The Veeam Vanguard program is the influencer program that all the rest should look up to. Its team-like approach to membership selection has led to a group that truly works together to not only improve our own careers but the products Veeam offers as well without emphasizing the marketing aspect.” @K00lAidIT on Twitter.

“The Veeam Vanguard program — being the first influencer program I have the pleasure of being part of — I was not sure what to expect. What I have found are people both at Veeam and fellow Vanguards who go out of their way to help each other out. It’s not just about the product, it’s about sharing ideas and real-world experience. Feeling like we can help shape Veeam’s future product lines is a great privilege. I now consider many people involved in this program as my friends. If a bar was to be set for advocacy / influencer programs, this bar was set very high.” Ian Sanderson, UK.

“Although classified as an influencer program, the Veeam Vanguard program is so much more than that. Yes, there are perks, but the value comes from the people. The folks who make up the Vanguards are there for a reason — they always bring their A game. These are some of the smartest folks in the industry, who are always willing to lend a helping hand. In return, the Veeam Team offers unparalleled insight and openness into their technologies and roadmaps and routinely seeks feedback, good and bad. This is one of the few groups I have been a part of that has not only forced me, but encouraged me to up my personal game.” Matt Crape, Canada.

“Being a Veeam Vanguard, besides the personal recognition, is like having a really smart, diverse and experienced group of colleagues by your side while you go about your job. The collective experience and knowledge of the group is impressive, and, most importantly, they share that in various ways with the community.” Didier Von Hoye, Belgium

The Vanguard Program is also a global, multi-language program. Here is one comment from Jorge de la Cruz:

“El programa de Comunidad de Veeam llamado Veeam Vanguards es uno de esos pocos grupos que todos conocen el nombre de todos los demás, donde además se hace un esfuerzo tremendo por el fabricante por reunirnos un par de veces al año, sin importar la ubicación, y donde además se tiene acceso a diferentes departamentos de la empresa como son Product, Product Strategy e incluso Marketing. Ser Veeam Vanguard es un honor, que además se acompaña con betas y previews antes de salir al mercado, relaciones sanas entre los participantes, y mucho intercambio de información entre los agraciados.”

It’s natural to have a few questions on this type of program, so I’ve created a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Who can apply to be a Vanguard? Anyone active in a technology community.

Can Veeam employees be awarded Vanguard status? No, but employees can nominate persons for consideration.

What criteria are needed to be awarded Vanguard status? The criteria are decided by our team that looks across communities to find the persons who embody our brand the best.

How will nominees be notified of the result? The Product Strategy team (my staff and I) are going to review the nominations after the registration closes, and then we will deliberate the results. Look for communication either way after that.

I encourage you to apply using this link. If you see a Vanguard in the wild, let us know!

The post Veeam Vanguard nominations are now open for 2018! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Veeam Vanguard nominations are now open for 2018!

File inclusions and exclusions explained with Veeam Backup & Replication

Source: Veeam

A few years ago, the file exclusion engine was introduced to Veeam Backup & Replication. This was primarily meant to handle situations such as a large set file data that you didn’t need in an image-based backup. One example I had users liked was a SQL Server (especially before Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server) that had SQL Server DBAs performing SQL Server Agent jobs or SQL Server Maintenance Plans to export flat backups on disk and transaction log exports.

With the file exclusion, Veeam could optionally take the image-based backup of the VM running SQL Server and exclude the disk geometry that stored the files specified in the backup job. This is an extension of the same logic used in the backup job to exclude the swap file.

The other half of this capability is the file inclusion. This becomes very interesting as it can be very useful for giving parts of a VM the opportunity to have additional RPOs in addition to that of a regular Veeam backup job that takes the whole image. The figure below shows where you can set a file inclusion:

File inclusions and exclusions

This may seem like a small capability, but when you think about the logic for including files only, it can be very flexible. With this configuration in a backup job, a few things need to be considered:

  • The backup format is still a VBK
  • Virtual machine metadata (VM name, host, cluster, network, etc.) are saved — but they can’t be used as you only have the files of a folder selected with the inclusion
  • You can have an additional backup (possibly with a less frequent RPO) for the VM for the entire image
  • You can do a backup copy job of this restore point
  • This backup will be smaller than the image-based backup and has storage efficiencies of the source file data

When talking to customers and partners, this capability has been very useful as an extra backup job to give “that one folder” (that is very important) a bit more Availability than what the regular backup job may bring. It is important to additionally note that at VeeamON we announced NAS backup support for Veeam Backup & Replication v10. This will be an option as well, but if the system is a virtual machine and the requirement for a file backup logic is very specific to include all files in a folder, this logic may be better. The NAS backup logic coming in v10 will be based on revisions of a file at the time of the backup job. The retention is also based on the number of revisions where the file inclusion job is based on a restore point (always) for all files selected in the backup job.

An additional angle here is an extra layer of ransomware resiliency. By having the file inclusions in a separate backup job, this may be more resilient in a situation where you restore a file server from an image-based backup only to have the ransomware re-infect the restored data. This is the perfect time to remind everyone about SureBackup (which by the way is 7 years old in 2017!).

Do you have a use case where you have an image-based backup and a separate backup job just for some particular files? The file inclusions and exclusions may be something to consider. Share your ideas below.

The post File inclusions and exclusions explained with Veeam Backup & Replication appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

File inclusions and exclusions explained with Veeam Backup & Replication

Ransomware resiliency & Availability: The endpoint is a great place to start

Source: Veeam

Fighting ransomware has become a part of doing business today. Technology professionals around the world are advocating many ways to stay resilient. The most effective method is to have end-user training on how to handle and operate attachments and connectivity to the Internet. One other area to look is frequent endpoint devices: Laptops and PCs.

Veeam has taken ransomware resiliency seriously for a while. We’ve put out a number of posts such as early tips for some of the first attacks and some practical tips when using Veeam Backup & Replication. Now with Veeam Agent for Linux and Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE available as well as Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows (coming VERY soon) as options for laptops and PCs, it’s time to take ransomware resiliency seriously on these devices.

Before I go too far, it’s important to note that ransomware can exist on both Windows and Linux systems. Additionally, ransomware is not just a PC problem (see recent survey blogpost), as at Veeam we see it nearly every day in technical support for virtual machines. We’ll see more content coming for the virtual machine side of the approach for most resiliency, in this post I’ll focus on PCs and Laptops.

Veeam Agent for Linux is the newest product in which Veeam has offered image-based Availability for non-virtualized systems. Veeam Agent for Linux is a great way to do backups of many different Linux systems with a very intuitive user interface:

Ransomware resiliency & Availability

For ransomware resiliency for Veeam Agent for Linux, putting backups on a different file system will be very easy to do with the seamless integration with Veeam Availability Suite. In this way, backups of Veeam Agent for Linux systems can be placed in Veeam Backup & Replication repositories. They also can be used in the Backup Copy Job function. This way, the Linux backups can be placed on different file systems to avoid propagation of ransomware across the source Linux system and the backups. The Backup Copy Job of Veeam Agent for Linux is shown below writing Linux backups to a Windows Server 2016 ReFS backup repository:

Ransomware resiliency & Availability

Now, let’s talk about Microsoft operating systems and resiliency against ransomware when it comes to backups. Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE will soon be renamed to Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows. Let’s explain this changing situation here briefly. Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE was announced at VeeamON in 2014 and since it has been available, it has been downloaded over 1,000,000 times. From the start, it has always provided backup Availability for desktop and server-class Windows operating systems. However, it didn’t have the application-aware image processing support and technical support service. Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows will introduce these key capabilities as well as many more.

For Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows, you also can put backups on several different storage options. Everything from NAS systems to removable storage, a Linux path, tape media, a deduplication appliance when integrated with Veeam Availability Suite and more. The removable storage is of interest as it may be the only realistic option for many PC or laptop systems. A while ago, Veeam implemented a feature to eject removable media at the completion of a backup job. This option is available in the scheduling option and when the backup target is a removable media and is shown below:

Ransomware resiliency & Availability

This simple option can indeed make a big difference. We even had a user share a situation where ransomware encrypted one’s backups. This underscores a need for completely offline backups or otherwise some form of an “air gap” between backup data and production systems. Thus, behave as if when you have ransomware in your organization the only real solution is to restore from backup after it is contained. There is a whole practice of inbound detection and prevention but if it gets in, backup is your only option. Having media eject offline is another mechanism that even with isolated PCs and laptops can have more Availability by having the backup storage offline.

Availability in the ransomware era is a never-ending practice of diligence and configuration review. Additionally, the arsenal of threats will always become more sophisticated to meet our new defenses. What tips do you have for ransomware resiliency on PCs and laptops? Share your tips below!

The post Ransomware resiliency & Availability: The endpoint is a great place to start appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Ransomware resiliency & Availability: The endpoint is a great place to start